The San Francisco 49ers waived offensive tackle Jonathan Martin Thursday afternoon, and in doing so, saved a small chunk of salary cap space. Martin was due to earn $1,042,400 in 2015. For purposes of the in-season cap they save that whole amount. For purposes of the offseason salary cap, they likely save $532,400.
The reason for that is the offseason only accounts for the top 51 salaries on the team. His million dollar salary would factor into the Top 51, but with his departure, it will be replaced by someone making at least $510,000. That number represents the league minimum salary of a player with one credited year.
At first glance it is odd the 49ers would wait until now to waive Martin. However, as some have mentioned, it most likely means they attempted to trade him during the owners' meetings. The bulk of free agency is finished, so any team looking for some offensive line depth might be inclined to take a flier on Martin. If they did shop him at the meetings, nothing came of it, and so they waived him. The other 31 teams will have the opportunity to claim him and his $1,042,400 salary, but odds seem pretty good he will clear waivers.